Thursday, July 12, 2012

Monumentality in Etruscan and Early Roman Architecture

Every soci­ety builds, and many, if not all, uti­lize archi­tec­tur­al struc­tures as mark­ers to define place, patron, or expe­ri­ence. Often we con­sid­er these archi­tec­tur­al mark­ers as "mon­u­ments" or "mon­u­men­tal" build­ings. Ancient Rome, in par­tic­u­lar, is a soci­ety rec­og­nized for the mon­u­men­tal­i­ty of its build­ings. While few would deny that the term "mon­u­men­tal" is appro­pri­ate for ancient Roman archi­tec­ture, the nature of this char­ac­ter­i­za­tion and its devel­op­ment in pre-Roman Italy is rarely con­sid­ered care­ful­ly. 

What is "mon­u­men­tal" about Etr­uscan and early Roman archi­tec­ture?Delv­ing into the cru­cial peri­od before the zenith of Impe­r­i­al Roman build­ing, Mon­u­men­tal­i­ty in Etr­uscan and Early Roman Archi­tec­ture address­es such ques­tions as, "What fac­tors drove the emer­gence of scale as a defin­ing ele­ment of ancient Ital­ian archi­tec­ture?" and "How did mon­u­men­tal­i­ty arise as a key fea­ture of Roman archi­tec­ture?" Con­trib­u­tors Eliz­a­beth Colan­toni, Antho­ny Tuck, Nancy A. Win­ter, P. Gre­go­ry War­den, John N. Hop­kins, Pene­lope J. E. Davies, and Ingrid Edlund-Berry reflect on the ways in which ancient Etr­uscans and Romans uti­lized the con­cepts of com­mem­o­ra­tion, dura­bil­i­ty, and vis­i­bil­i­ty to achieve mon­u­men­tal­i­ty.